Bright, fresh and full of basil, this pesto is different than most thanks to a cup of spinach and a few leaves of fresh mint. Pesto is one of the easiest things you can make from scratch and the results are always delicious! I think you will agree, this pesto brings out the best in any pasta, pizza crust or as a topping for a slice of crusty bread. It's easy to make in the food processor and is ready to serve in minutes.
Ingredients to have on hand
- fresh spinach
- fresh basil
- fresh mint
- pine nuts
- parmesan cheese
Top Tips and FAQ
It sure helps. I think it's the best way to create that perfect texture and that familiar consistency of pesto.
In a pinch, it's possible to simply chop the ingredients really, really fine and combine with the olive oil. The end result will be more "clumpy" but the flavor will still be delicious.
Store your pesto in a covered container in the refrigerator, enjoy it within 3 days. As an option you can also freeze pesto for about 6 months. Use any freezer safe container.
So Easy to Make
I think what you'll love the most about this fresh basil and mint pesto is how easy it is to prepare. Often when we consider scratch-made sauces it's easy to immediately assume they will be complicated and time consuming.
But fresh pesto couldn't be easier and it's ready in under 20 minutes.
It's a wonderful way to use fresh basil and mint from your herb garden too. This is a great way to make the most of an abundant basil harvest.
Substitute for Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are definitely on the spendy side, but fortunately, this recipe only needs ⅓ cup of the pricey little gems. I usually buy about two cups worth of pine nuts at a time and keep them in the freezer until I'm ready to make this recipe.
It doesn't make them any less expensive but that way I only deal with the sticker shock once in a while.
Many store-bought pesto sauces include walnuts with the pine nuts so that is a nice option too, though adding or substituting walnuts does adjust the taste.
I recommend unsalted cashews as the best substitute for pine nuts.
Homemade pasta sauces are delicious and impressive to serve. Whether on pizza or pasta, here are some others that I think you'll love! Oh, and don't forget about a dipping oil for your bread on the side.
More Pesto and Sauce Ideas
Here's a stellar recipe to use fresh pesto, Four P Salad, it's delicious and perfect next to grilled burgers, chicken or as a side dish any time.
Are you on the lookout for a good pasta sauce? You must try my Tomato-Cream Sauce. Like this pesto recipe, it's super easy to make and despite having "cream" in the name, don't worry about calorie overload. It's a cream sauce that's actually light on the cream, but heavy on flavor from fire-roasted tomatoes.
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- food processor
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint - about three large mint leaves
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste - or about ¼ teaspoon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Place all ingredients, except the olive oil in a food processor and blend until you get the ingredients chopped into very small pieces. Add the olive oil and blend again until smooth. Use with pasta, on pizza or as a spread on warm bread.
Please note, the nutrition details are estimated using a food database and are offered here only as a guideline for informational purposes.